British Coal Strike Shows Democracies
Have Yet to Solve Their Labor Problems
By DAVID LAWRENCE.
The strike of 100.000 workers in the coal mines of Britain is a
grim reminder that the two big democracies of the world have not
as yet solved their respective labor problems.
Over in Britain, too, they have been calling the coal strike
unpatriotic especially on the eve of the coming invasion. There
Is no John Lewis on whom to center’
the blame and thus by making the
escape the re
the origin of
In America in
stead of pene
trating to the
causes of the
coal strike, it
was deemed bet
ter to concen
trate the Na
tion’s fury on
one man, and
while this hap
pened to satisfy
the pent-up pro- .
test of the people at the time, it has
led to no constructive solution of
the basic issues.
Several months have gone by
since the coal strike occurred, but
neither the President nor Congress
has made any move to prevent the
recurrence of wartime strikes by
surveying the very matters that
gave rise to the coal strike. The
American people haven’t accumulat
ed as much coal either for home
uses or for war production as was
necessary and it is apparent that a
distinct damage to the public inter
est was done by the coal strike. But
still there has been no investigation
of the episode.
Fact Finding Needed.
What is needed, of course, is the
appointment of a fast-finding com
mission composed of distinterested
jwrists who will not hesitate to get
at the underlying questions that
caused the coal and rail strike con
troversies. It is not enough merely
to find out what the wage demands
were and whether or not they were
Justified. It is more important to
learn how the governmental ma
chinery was used or not and where
the Government itself failed. For
despite the abuse that has been
heaped upon John L. Lewis—it’s
always easy to blame a strike leader
and forget entirely that there are
other parties to a strike—a certain
measure of responsibility rests upon
the Government as the representa
tive of all the people and all the
One thing that should have been
done long ago was to reorganize our
governmental machinery dealing
with the labor problem. The an
swer does not lie in consolidating
the National War Labor Board, the
National Labor Relations Board, the
Railroad Mediation Board and the
Labor Department as has been sug
gested from time to time. The an
swer does lie in separating certain
functions of a judicial from those
of an administration nature. It
also lies in keeping the Chief Execu
tive from exercising any Influence,
direct or indirect, upon the boards
The War Labor Board serves a
special function in wartime, deal
ing as it does with the settlement
of disputes when they arise. It
cannot be useful if the parties may
appeal to the White House or Con
gress to influence decisions. The
National Labor Relations Board does
a constructive job in straightening
out the multifarious questions grow
ing out of the collective bargaining
process itself as covered by the
Wagner Labor Relations Law. The
Railroad Mediation Act deals prop
erly with the special questions aris
ing out of disputes in the transpor
tation field. It should be immune
from outside interference.
Biggest Job Neglected.
But the biggest and most im
portant function of all—the preven
tion of labor disputes—is the most
neglected of all. The Labor De
partment has in it many extraneous
bureaus that have nothing to do
with the labor problem as such.
These, including the Immigration
Bureau and the Children’s Bureau,
should be taken out of that de
partment and made the nucleus of
a Department of Public Welfare.
The principal functions of a Labor
Department, on the other hand,
should be those embraced in the
conciliation service, headed now so
ably by John Steelman, and in the
Bureau of Labor statistics, headed
at present by the efficient Dr. Lubin.
The head of the Labor Depart
ment should be some one who knows
Intimately the problems of concilia
tion and mediation. The staff
should be enlarged five-fold and
the Government should encourage
training for the career of mediator
and conciliator. Men of a particu
lar personality, honest and tactful,
can do more to smooth ruffled
tempers and prevent strikes than
boards with rigid rules and regula
tions important as these latter may
be after the disputes have arisen.
So far-reaching a policy as the
“Little Steel” formula, for example,
grew up accidentally out of a deci
sion in one industry, and once pro
claimed was adhered to slavishly.
The assistance of the Bureau of
Labor statistics, as well as the coun
sel of all interested groups in man
agement and labor with economic
data to offer should have been em
ployed before a wage-making
scheme of general application was
adopted, and some provision for
flexibility should properly have been
considered to meet special situa
What the President might well do
is to ask for the creation of a new
Department of Public Welfare and
Hll-wool materials Including
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appoint some experienced concilia
tor to operate an enlarged and es
pecially constructed Labor Depart
ment whose chief function would
be conciliation and mediation.
(Reproduction Rights Reserved.)
A reader ran eet the answer to any
question of fact by writing The Evening
Star Information Bureau. Frederic J.
Haskin, director, Washington. D. C.
Please inclose stamp for return postage.
By FREDERIC J. HASKIN.
Q. When did Germany declare
war on England?—M. I. D.
A. There has been no official dec
laration of war.
Q. What is the greatest distance
at which cannon fire can be heard?
-E. C. C.
A. Continual fire has been heard
100 miles away, and. according to
somewhat doubtful records, as far as
Q. What was the last play In
which John Wilkes Booth appeared?
-T. N. N.
A. “The Apostate.” ©n March 18,
1865, in Ford's Theater, Washington.
Q. What is the temperature of the
Solomon Islands?—E. E. M.
A. The temperature at sea level
varies from an occasional maximum
of about 92 degrees to a minimum of
73. Humidity is high and the aver
age annual rainfall is 164 Inches.
Q. Are new-born babies able to
see?—E. L. H.
A. Experiments conducted by Dr.
W. C. Beasley of Johns Hopkins Uni
versity indicated that new-born
babies’ eyes can distinguish light
and perhaps ordinary objects.
Q. Upon what meridian is stand
ard time for the world based?—
M. E. A.
A. It is counted from Greenwich,
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Q. How much snow does it take to
equal 1 inch of rain?—C. E. L.
A. Ten inches of snow equals, on
the average, about 1 inch of rain.
Q. When was Canada first called
by this name?—L. O. B.
A. When Jacques Cartier (1491-e.
1557) first sailed up the St. Lawrence
River, one of the first words he
learned from the natives was the
Huron “kanada,” meaning -‘village”
or ' settlement.” Later he applied it
to the region around the village on
the site of present-day Quebec.
Q. What islands recently were re
ported to have vanished from the
South Atlantic Ocean?—D. F. F.
A. The British Admirality report
ed the disappearance of Thompson
and Lindsay Islands, which have
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J||ghat To Do
Azalea show, Botanic Garden, 9
am. to 4:30 p.m. daily through
Potomac area, American Youth
Hostels, United States Chamber of
Commerce, 7:45 o'clock tonight.
California and Potomac hostel films.
National Capital Parks Camera
Strollers, Palisades Field House. 8
o'clock tonight. Kodrachrome films
of the National Parks.
Recorded concert, Jewish Com
munity Center. 8:30 o'clock tonight.
Marine Band, Marine Barracks,
12:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Soldiers' Home Band, Stanley
Hall, 5:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Stage Door Canteen, Belasco
Theater, tonight: Army War College
Dance Band, Army Air Forces Dance
Band and Capitol Theater show.
Servicemen may obtain additional
information cm dance* and other
activities by calling the United
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any of the following USO numbers.
Executive 0428, Republic 1527, Na
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Negroes, Decatur 5664.
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This is the story of a Jap bombing attack on an American airfield
in the South Pacific.
The attack, by and large, was a failure. And that was partly because
He was in charge of an antiaircraft gun crew.
From a warning station half a mile away, he
got news of enemy planes approaching from
Within a few seconds, the sergeant had given
certain orders...“Japs coming in at 2 o’clock
... on target... begin tracking... fire!” He
gave these orders to...
SEVERAL GUYS NAMED JOE
who were as busy as beavers behind their
rampart of sandbags surrounding a 90-milli
meter antiaircraft gun equipped with a
Sperry-Vickers Power Control.
The Japs came into telescopic sights. The
very efficient guys named Joe tracked them
until they were within range, passed up am
munition, stood by to pull the firing lever.
As the gun began to fire, twenty-five shells
to the minute, bombs spewed out of the
enemy planes. The sergeant was watching,
and a few seconds before the bombs struck
the ground, he blew his whistle. The crew
ducked behind the sandbags until the bursts
were over, then leaped to their jobs again.
One Jap plane fell in flames. Another
dived, out of control. The rest high-tailed it
out of sight.
How did the professor get into the story?
The professor was a machine...the Sperry
Antiaircraft Director... a lightning calcu
lator that does problems in higher calculus
faster than twenty mathematicians.
While the guys named Joe were working,
the Professor was working, too. With the in
formation he got from the tracking sights, he
automatically figured the enemy’s range, his
speed, the timing needed for the shell fuses,
and all other firing data. Then, through the
remote-control system cables to the Sperry
Power Control, the Professor instantly sent
the data to the gun. This system aimed the
gun automatically, the shells screamed up
ward and burst where they would do the
THE PROFESSOR, and his Power Control,
are Sperry inventions. They were de
veloped over a period of years in co-opera
tion with the United States Army.
Wh en America entered the war, her anti
aircraft equipment was the best in the world.
We bel leve it still is the best. In fact, it’s so
good it is almost worthy of the sergeants and
the guys named Joe who operate it.
But we don’t sleep on that. The enemy is
smart, and we here at Sperry make it our
day-to-day job to try to keep ahead of him.
★ LET’S ALL KEEP BACKING THE ATTACK ★
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 20
FORD INSTRUMENT CO., INC.
SPERRY GYROSCOPE CO., INC.
Waterbury Tool Division, VICKERS, INC.
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